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SCC Offers New Paramedic Certificate Program to Clinton Center This Fall

Keith W
Paramedic Program Coordinator, Keith Widmeier

To address the statewide need for advanced emergency technicians, Somerset Community College will introduce a a Paramedic Certificate program in the Fall of 2012.

The program is currently admitting students into the first class. Those interested in enrolling must already be a licensed emergency medical technician (EMT) and must have completed a college-level math course.

The Paramedic Certificate program can be completed in approximately two years. Classes will be held at the Clinton Center of Somerset Community College, located at 1273 Ky. Hwy. 90 West in Albany. Classes will be primarily on Monday and Wednesday evenings, with some Saturday classes scheduled in advance. In addition to classroom work, students will be required to complete clinical rotations with medical personnel and in various medical settings.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for EMTs and Paramedics is expected to grow at 33 percent, a rate much faster than average between 2010-2020. In addition, the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians recently passed a mandate that will require all students be graduates of an accredited paramedic program in order to be eligible for the national provider examination. Prior to the KCTCS initiative to meet this mandate and the health care shortage across the state, there was only one accredited paramedic program in Kentucky. Somerset Community College is one of several KCTCS colleges to begin a paramedic program.

Nancy Powell, Dean of Health Sciences at SCC, said that the program will likely move to an Associate in Science degree, as well as a certificate program, within a year.

We started this program to meet the needs of the people in Southeast Kentucky, said Powell. Paramedics have a much larger scope of practice and therefore can treat more complex issues a patient might be experiencing. Having a paramedic on board an ambulance may mean the difference between life and death at times. Our goal at SCC is to fill that need and put more paramedics out there serving our communities.

The Paramedic Certificate program will be led by Keith Widmeier, a paramedic and training officer for Wayne County EMS. Widmeier holds several degrees and certificates, the most recent being from Eastern Kentucky University where he earned his Bachelors of Science. Widmeier holds numerous certificates and is a member of numerous professional health care organizations. He has participated as a member of the task force responsible for establishing the scope of practice and educational requirements of the EMT with the Kentucky Board of EMS, has been a judge for the national EMS Olympics, has taught several emergency care-related courses for all age groups, and created a website to provide information to the aeromedical industry. He has presented his work in journals and at state and national emergency conferences and symposiums.

Im happy to be part of the Somerset Community College family and to be part of building a much-needed program, said Widmeier.

Those interested in finding out more about the Paramedic Certificate program should visit the webpage or contact Tanya Cowan at 606-451-6764 for more information. The deadline to enroll is August 10.